There are two keys to great Christmas cookies.
1) Always use FRESH nutmeg when possible. All my grandmas, grandmothers and grandmamas have preached the importance of nutmeg since I can remember. And you know what? It is true.
Most grocery stores sell whole nutmegs, and you can use a grater or coffee grinder to get ground nutmeg.
2) Always cool the dough before putting it in the oven. I always get fluffier cookies when the dough has chilled at least 4 hours.
In a hurry? Shape the dough on the cookie sheet and throw it in the freezer while the oven warms up and you clean up the kitchen.
One of my family's favorite indulgences is eggnog. The only problem is after two glasses you are overwhelmed by the richness, but you still have ¾ of the carton left. These cookies help use the eggnog in a less rich but equally delicious way.
EGGNOG COOKIES WITH EGGNOG ICING
For the Icing
1 tablespoon eggnog
For the cookies
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup eggnog
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Extra nutmeg for icing
• Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
• Cream sugars and butter until light. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
• Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake 8 to10 minutes. Cool on rack. Once cooled, drizzle eggnog icing over the cookie and sprinkle with ground nutmeg.
SOFT AND CHEWY GINGERBREAD COOKIES WITH EGGNOG ICING
3 cups flour
2 teaspoon ginger, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup molasses
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
• Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light
• Add molasses, egg and vanilla; beat well.
• Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.
• Press dough into a thick, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar.
• Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Drizzle with eggnog icing.
• Source: Nichole Moisant.